In 2019, I’ve been (slowly) trying to change my outlook on how others see me. Having had social anxiety from a young age, I’ve often felt like this quote from Speak Your Mind:
When you have social anxiety, every time you’re around someone, you feel like they’re judging you. No real reason why; that’s just how it is. And every time you stutter, every time you do something awkward, every trip and every fall, it’s like in your mind you lose even more ‘points’ with people. And in reality, no one cares that much. But we think they do. God help us, we think they do.
In fact, I wrote this line for Victoria after having an embarrassing moment that led to an anxiety attack. I was on a scotch doubles bowling league with my boyfriend at the time, where one person would bowl first and the second person would try to pick up the spare if any pins were left. Well, I was always nervous on the league because I’m an amateur bowler at best, and after guttering a couple times, I got super embarrassed.
My boyfriend is one of the best bowlers on his other leagues, and everyone in the bowling alley knows him. I thought that because my boyfriend is an awesome bowler that everyone would expect me to be just as good, and not living up to that expectation made me feel like everyone thought I was dumb, uncoordinated, or a downright loser.
Why? Because I’ve been made fun of for similar things growing up, and these old, though admittedly stupid words still haunt me.
Middle school was the worst of it. During my very brief Star Wars phase in 7th grade, I bought a Star Wars t-shirt because I liked it. When I wore it to school, the popular girl who sat next to me in class wrinkled her nose and said, “why are you wearing that?”
The answer was because I liked the shirt and it was none of her business what I wore, but I didn’t say that, because she already thought I was weird. A lot of people treated me that way throughout school. Sometimes it felt like I had the Cheese Touch from Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
A lot of comments have been made about what I looked like in middle school, what I wore, how I now look 12 when I’m 25, how weird my hobbies are, how unathletic I am, etc. over the years. While the majority of the time I’d rather slap that judging smirk off their face, I’ve been told that it’s easier to let the comments roll off you like water from a duck’s back. It’s taken me 25 years to realize that I’m truly not weird… I’m just me. And it’s okay to be confident in who I am and not care what others think.
I like working out in my office at work during my lunch break sometimes, and when someone opens the door to ask a question mid-squat, I can either be embarrassed and stop working out, or continue working out and achieve my fitness goals. I can either cover up my Toy Story Apple Watch face when around others because I’m embarrassed of my love for cartoons, or I can embrace my inner child. You can either turn your music down at a stoplight, or blast The Greatest Showman soundtrack. It may be weird to them, but it’s your life.
You like something? Do it. Embrace it. Be confident in it. Because you’re not weird, you’re you. And you’re stuck with the life you’re living. Make it one you want to live!
What have others called you weird for that you really enjoy? Let me know in the comments!